You may be entitled to compensation if you lose a loved one due to negligence. While many people know this, few understand how wrongful death claims work or what to expect in the process.
It helps to have the right information about how things work in such situations to help you look out for your rights and get a fair settlement. Here are a few things you need to know about wrongful death claims in New Mexico.
Who can file a wrongful death claim?
Only the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim in New Mexico. In most cases, the personal representative is named in the will, although the court can appoint someone to serve if the person appointed cannot do so or if the deceased died intestate (without an estate plan).
What damages can you claim with a wrongful death claim?
You deserve compensation for the economic and non-economic harm or loss caused by the death of your loved one. Some of the damages you can claim include:
- The medical expenses related to your loved one’s last illness or injury
- Their financial contribution to the household
- The emotional distress you endured due to the death
- The lost wages your loved one would have earned if they had lived
- The pain and suffering borne by your loved one before their death
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
The personal representative will distribute the damages awarded to the surviving dependents in order of priority. Usually, the deceased’s spouse and children come first.
How long do you have to file a wrongful death claim?
In New Mexico, a wrongful death claim must be filed within three years of the death. For claims against the government, the law provides a two-year window. Failing to observe these crucial deadlines could bar recovery of compensation.
Get help with your wrongful death claim
Wrongful death claims can get complicated from a legal point of view. Proving that your loved one’s death occurred due to negligence and justifying the damages sought is not always easy. As such, seeking legal guidance to help protect your interests and guide you through the claims process is in your best interests.